From Seattle, it’s all a stunning ferry ride away. Olympic Peninsula is home to Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest, plus temperate rain forests and misty waterfalls. Add to that list the longest natural sand spit in America, a 68-mile saltwater fjord and the northwestern-most point in the contiguous U.S. Simply put, no other road trip can keep up.
Drive the Olympic Peninsula Sweepstakes
Now through October 12, those interested in taking a road trip as exciting as the one in the movies can enter to win a five-day camper van-cation by visiting theroadtripisback.com. The package comes with airfare, accommodations and sweet swag for two!
Driving the loop that encircles the stunning Olympic Peninsula covers more than 300 miles and offers a multitude of experiences. Drive it in a day with minimal breaks or opt for a three-day (or more) drive with many scenic stops along the way. But don’t miss these five natural wonders on your journey:
1. Explore Rain Forests
Among the Olympic Peninsula’s most popular attractions are four temperate rain forests: Hoh, Bogachiel, Quinault and Queets. While each is magical in its own way, jungles of moss, towering old growth forests and tumbling waterfalls will take your breath away. Fantastic day hikes and remote lodges make it hard to find a place more beautiful.
2. Seek out Waterfalls
When it comes to waterworks, there’s really nothing like the Waterfall Trail. With over 20 wet sites, embrace yourself for a magical, misty tour, and some of the most photogenic spots in the Pacific Northwest. Seven waterfall districts feature falls that are easy to access and some that are only reachable by boat. And if you’re looking for a water-filled backcountry adventure, the Enchanted Valley (known by locals as “valley of 10,000 waterfalls) is for you! Hear the roar, feel the spray.
3. Walk on Beaches
Discover wide sandy beaches on the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Dungeness Spit, and the Pacific Ocean’s rugged, wild beaches with their memorable sea stacks. Time it just right (typically March through September) and inspect active tidepools. Add Glass Beach near Port Townsend to your itinerary and you may find agates and sea glass. But the beaches offer more than beachcombing. The region is ripe when it comes to water wildlife. The Whale Trail features 15 viewing spots along the Olympic Peninsula coast where you may spot whales, sea lions and seals (oh my!).
4. Visit Olympic National Park
Diversity is the hallmark of Olympic National Park. It’s a bucket-list destination for many who come to see the trails, peaks, glaciers, temperate rain forests, iconic rivers and deep lakes. Roaming Roosevelt elk and flying squirrels surprise many. Looking for a peaceful getaway? It’s also home to the Quietest Square Inch in America. All of this, in one park.
5. Savor Local Craft Cuisine
Experience and explore restaurants, farms and creameries. Get a taste or two from regional wineries, cideries and coffee roasters. A drive along the Olympic Culinary Loop, stretching over 450 miles and four counties, will connect you to the freshest fare imaginable. We’re talking Hood Canal oysters, organic meat, fresh shellfish and salmon, wild game, farm-grown veggies and fruits, and exotic mushrooms foraged right from a rain forest.
Ready to Start Planning?
Book your travel through the Seattle gateway and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Fall is the perfect time for a visit to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. The crowds are smaller, the days are shorter (but still long enough), the air is crisper, and the colors are more vibrant. To make sure it’s truly the most fun you’ll have with your seat belt on, Olympic Peninsula themed car bingo and a road trip playlist await your travels. Visit theroadtripisback.com and follow along: #TheRoadTripIsBack